Two decades after she first stepped inside a Norfolk care home as a work experience student, an exceptional Healthcare Homes employee has been named Carer of the Year.
Tracy Eves, from Narborough, was this week announced the recipient of the accolade in the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards.
Such was her outstanding story, that the 41-year-old mother-of-two was also declared ‘overall winner’ at the glittering black tie event.
A popular healthcare assistant at the “Outstanding” CQC-rated Meadow House Nursing Home in Swaffham, Tracy has relentlessly inspired others through her efforts to create new activities for residents in the home, and through numerous awareness-raising charitable commitments – from parachute jumps to zumbathons.
Treating every resident as an individual, and always looking to help their very specific needs, she has been responsible for all kinds of trips, treats and gestures over the 21 years of her time with the home.
She has played an instrumental role in the health restoration of a resident suffering from an eating disorder; helped another to deliver a unique Mother’s Day surprise for a relative; enabled a multiple sclerosis sufferer to benefit from, and attend, a special football match; and even deliver such occasions as a resident disco….with the help of her own sons.
Overwhelmed by the announcement of the two awards this week. Tracy said: “I was really surprised to be nominated, but to find out I had won completely took my breath away on the night.
“I generally feel carers don’t get enough recognition for the incredible work they do, so it was wonderful to be among so many people being acknowledged for the special role they play in our community.”
She added: “I can say without a word of a lie that if someone was to ask me what my dream job would be – then I’m doing it.
“I am so incredibly lucky to work at an amazing home like Meadow House. It is just a truly wonderful home, and therefore it goes far beyond being a ‘job’. It is part of my life – and my family know and appreciate that too.”
The home at which Tracy works is in a mere 1% of residences rated by the CQC as Outstanding.
That factor, is, say her colleagues, in no small part thanks to her constant commitment and care.
Joanna Jankowska, Manager at Meadow House, said: “There is no doubt that Tracy is someone who goes over and above at every turn – which benefits our home enormously. She builds strong relationships with residents and staff, and is seen as an incredibly positive influence on everyone she meets.”
Not content with her outstanding work on behalf of residents, Tracy also immerses herself into her role as Training Leader.
This part of her role has seen an increase in the home’s overall compliance to a superb 99%.
Tracy, who attended this week’s event with her husband, is planning to celebrate her huge accomplishment in the New Year, with a special trip to London.
She added: “I was lucky enough to win two prizes; one of which is a meal in London and a trip up the Shard, so I’ll be very much looking forward to enjoying Christmas with all of my family around me, and then having that as a belated celebration trip early in 2018.
“It’s still sinking in for me at the moment, and I’ve been so touched by the number of staff, residents and friends who have congratulated me on the news.”